Temple University Diamond Marching Band Plays On Through Pandemic

The band's essential status comes with some changes to the way they operate.

Temple University Diamond Marching Band has been finding ways to adjust to a new normal with COVID-19 restrictions. 

The band was deemed essential, which means they are allowed to continue in-person practices. 

Instead of having all 200 members congregate on Geasey Field at once, the band has split up into smaller groups of 50 members to maintain social distancing guidelines. Masks must also be worn at all times except for when instruments are being played. 

Other changes the band has seen is using coverings for all brass instruments. 

“Some professionals in the marching band arts community did a study on aerosols, which are produced when the instruments are playing.” Zach Eisengrein, the band’s drum major, said. 

“For example, with the flute, there’s some water and some spit that comes out of the keys and out the end, so we have to make sure that people are not only socially distant, but that they’re far enough apart where they’re not in line of the aerosols.” He added. 

Some members are grateful to be participating in the band despite all of the new restrictions. 

“It’s good to be able to be with the people we have been with and social distancing and doing all those sorts of measures so that we can still be able to come together and make music together.” JJ Michalski, a trumpet player and video coordinator commented. 

Another aspect of the band that has been forced to go through some changes is the community aspect. 

Band members say this year is a lot different from previous years, where a strong sense of community and friendship once flourished. 

“The social aspect has definitely been lowered a lot more and I feel bad for the freshmen who didn’t get the full aspect of meeting 200 friends upon their first day at band camp.” Michalski said.

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